Testimonials

Curious what other parents have to say about Camp Birch Hill?

Hi Joy: My daughter, Lydia, attended Camp Birch Hill this past year for the first time at 13.  She is counting down the days until she returns this year! I grew up in Ohio and had the wonderful experience of attending a camp for a one week or two week session  from age 9 through 16.  I felt that it was one of the most positive life changing experiences that I had growing up. In sending Lydia to Birch Hill, I was hoping that it would prove to be the same experience for her.  I was not disappointed.  Lydia had an incredible experience making friends, managing her own time and choosing her own schedule – being responsible for herself.  She had a great time participating in those activities in which she was comfortable as well as trying new things that were a “stretch” for her.  In addressing your question about the electronics, she did fine and actually really appreciated being out of touch for a little while!  Of course, it was harder on me. I couldn’t wait to pick her up after the two weeks, and upon my arrival, was so happy to see and hear Lydia’s regret in having to leave Camp Birch Hill and the friends she made there.  Nothing could have made me happier.  Lydia is still in touch with a few of her new friends.  She is hoping to meet up with them again this year. Camp Birch Hill’s facilities are absolutely beautiful.  The cabin’s are very nice and rustic.    I felt very comfortable leaving Lydia in the care of her counselors.  I had a sense that they would be great role models, diligent in keeping their eyes on her, as well as very fun.  The whole staff, it seemed, gets to know all the campers by name – so there are many people caring for your children at all times. To share a situation –  Lydia had braces and one of her brackets broke off leaving an exposed wire in her mouth.  Lydia let the staff know and I immediately received a call, asking me how I would like to deal with it.  I felt that there was no hesitation on the part of the staff to call me and let me know. The food is amazing and Lydia probably ate more at Camp Birch Hill then she does at home – not to mention that she worked up quite an appetite every day. I hope I answered some of your questions.  Please let me know if there is anything that I can address more specifically or answer for you. Thanks. Sheila Barnes

 

Hi Rich – just a quick note to say thank you again for another great year at Birch Hill.  Savannah has yet to recover from her depression about leaving camp.  We will somehow figure out how to send her for four weeks next year to try to stave off the depression. They came home full of good stories (and a black eye for emphasis).  I had to laugh.  I have made it through nineteen and a half years of parenting without a broken bone or a black eye and we had 2 this summer (one for Mackenzie one for Savannah).  It seems to me to be a sign that the fun quotient is increasing. The girls loved their counselors, went on and on about how great Alexa and Cooper are (they keep saying “and here’s the kicker” apparently a Cooper quote) and loved that Alexa slept in their cabin one night.  We are in the process of compiling a care package for Alexa although Savannah can barely endure the task since she misses her so much. Also, wanted to compliment Jackson on the whole water front thing. The fact that he was able to get Avery lifeguard certified is nothing short of a small miracle since she’s about the least physically ambitious person I know (after myself).  It sounds like he also did a great job of making the kids understand the importance of water safety, but didn’t scare them.  I’ve heard so many stories of camps that are overly restrictive with kids who are decent swimmers but not allowed to do anything.  This seems to really hamper their confidence.  Jackson was kind enough to give one of the girls a second chance at a test which she then passed and it was good for all. The two pieces of feedback I’d offer are this.  The girls said they were not able to get into any water activities (water skiing water tramp etc) and that they were too full to transfer into.  I’m not sure if this is the entire story, but it would be great to know that at camp they have some form of swimming every day.  Have you ever considered mandatory swim lessons for everyone?  Just a thought.  And finally, Charlotte was in a play that required (or perhaps just suggested) practices during her rest and PC periods.  She felt bad not going, but it was too much (and according to her further inhibited her from swimming). So, just some feedback about play practice and the youngest kids.  These comments are intended to be helpful. Not criticism in any way. I ran in to a mom this summer who is absolutely sending both her kids next year.  Her daughter Grace Cappellucci is a good friend of Charlotte’s.  Her son Jack is Savannah’s age and her arch-nemesis.  Good luck with that.  They are good kids.  Look for their registrations next year, and please save a space for her kids and mine session C. Finally – a sincere thanks for all your kindness to Avery.  You have been such a wonderful adult influence on her over the years. She adores you and believes you feel the same about her.  She’s a kid who really benefits from people in her corner – – and as you may know, she’s reluctant to let many people in.  So thank you. Have a great last session.  We’re already looking forward to next year. All my best, Stephanie PS – Chrissy has been a delight to work with.  She’s very professional and on so on the ball.  She was also great in helping me negotiate the waters with my client who is a widow and has a pretty severe brain injury.  I work with the trustees who help her manage her money and her daughter.  I referred trustee’s daughter to Birch Hill a couple of years ago (Emily Belson and 3 friends) and Yasmin Wagner came for the first time this year.  They all love it.  I suspect Birch Hill will be particularly important for Yasmin over the years.  Chrissy really facilitated the whole process, which was tricky at times.  Thanks again to you and Chrissy for all you do.

 

Hi Rich – just a quick note to say thank you again for another great year at Birch Hill. Savannah has yet to recover from her depression about leaving camp. We will somehow figure out how to send her for four weeks next year to try to stave off the depression. They came home full of good stories (and a black eye for emphasis). I had to laugh. I have made it through nineteen and a half years of parenting without a broken bone or a black eye and we had 2 this summer (one for Mackenzie one for Savannah). It seems to me to be a sign that the fun quotient is increasing.
The girls loved their counselors, went on and on about how great Alexa and Cooper are (they keep saying “and here’s the kicker” apparently a Cooper quote) and loved that Alexa slept in their cabin one night. We are in the process of compiling a care package for Alexa although Savannah can barely endure the task since she misses her so much.
Also, wanted to compliment Jackson on the whole water front thing. The fact that he was able to get Avery life guard certified is nothing short of a small miracle since she’s about the least physically ambitious person I know (after myself). It sounds like he also did a great job of making the kids understand the importance of water safety, but didn’t scare them. I’ve heard so many stories of camps that are overly restrictive with kids who are decent swimmers but not allowed to do anything. This seems to really hamper their confidence. Jackson was kind enough to give one of the girls a second chance at a test which she then passed and it was good for all.
The two pieces of feedback I’d offer are this. The girls said they were not able to get into any water activities (water skiing water tramp etc) and that they were too full to transfer into. I’m not sure if this is the entire story, but it would be great to know that at camp they have some form of swimming every day. Have you ever considered mandatory swim lessons for everyone? Just a thought. And finally, Charlotte was in a play that required (or perhaps just suggested) practices during her rest and PC periods. She felt bad not going, but it was too much (and according to her further inhibited her from swimming). So, just some feedback about play practice and the youngest kids. These comments are intended to be helpful. Not criticism in any way.
I ran in to a mom this summer who is absolutely sending both her kids next year. Her daughter Grace Cappellucci is a good friend of Charlotte’s. Her son Jack is Savannah’s age and her arch- nemesis. Good luck with that. They are good kids. Look for their registrations next year, and please save a space for her kids and mine session C.
Finally – a sincere thanks for all your kindness to Avery. You have been such a wonderful adult influence on her over the years. She adores you and believes you feel the same about her. She’s a kid who really benefits from people in her corner – – and as you may know, she’s reluctant to let many people in. So thank you.
Have a great last session. We’re already looking forward to next year.
All my best, Stephanie
PS – Chrissy has been a delight to work with. She’s very professional and on so on the ball. She was also great in helping me negotiate the waters with my client who is a widow and has a pretty
severe brain injury. I work with the trustees who help her manage her money and her daughter. I referred trustee’s daughter to Birch Hill a couple of years ago (Emily Belson and 3 friends) and Yasmin Wagner came for the first time this year. They all love it. I suspect Birch Hill will be particularly important for Yasmin over the years. Chrissy really facilitated the whole process, which was tricky at times. Thanks again to you and Chrissy for all you do.
Stephanie